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A very interesting question — since most people believe that you can simply go to the grocery store, pick products off the shelves and feel confident that they’re getting what they are paying for.  Unfortunately, as recent news articles and exposés have revealed, some of the food we’re buying isn’t what we thought. Items from olive oil to fruit juices are adulterated and watered down.  

Majority of Olive Oils Don’t Meet “Extra Virgin” Standards

At the beginning of the year, 60 Minutes ran a segment about the prevalence of counterfeit olive oil in the US market. This alarm has been sounding for a while.  In fact, the University of California at Davis previously tested grocery store oil and found that almost 70% of the imported oils failed to meet the standards for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). 

“Extra virgin” is the top grade of olive oil according to standards established by the International Olive Council (IOC) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In addition to establishing chemistry standards for extra virgin olive oil, the IOC and USDA have established a sensory standard — the oil must have zero defects and greater than zero fruitiness. 

So a lot of folks have been paying for “extra virgin” oil and not getting it!

Click here to see information on 60 Minutes segment at

Click here to see the study results at

Congress Makes A Move!

It looks like the US is at the point where the problem may finally be addressed.  Just a few weeks ago, congress directed the FDA to look into reported issues regarding fraudulent oil imports.

The House Agriculture Committee decided … to take steps to address olive oil fraud in the U.S. as appropriators working on the new Fiscal Year 2017 FDA spending bill called for tests on all imported olive oil. The committee’s report stated, “The committee is concerned with reports that […]

Click here to view original web page at

Olive Oil

Photo courtesy of USDAgov(CC Attribution)

Olive Oil Isn’t the Only Problem – Become An Informed Consumer 

Although fake EVOO is grabbing the headlines; fraudulent producers are filling our shelves and supplying restaurants with other counterfeit goods as well, as seen below:

And that’s just one example of food fraud. Some of the biggest items that are faked or mixed with fillers include coffee, tea, orange juice, and apple juice. A federal agency is about to pay urgent attention to oil fraud . That’s because the liquid substance is routinely thinned […]

This last article also provides a great start for showing consumers what they need to know when it comes to food fraud.  A little knowledge goes a long way in protecting yourself.  Generally make sure you:

  • Don’t shop on price alone – there’s probably a reason why it’s so inexpensive!
  • Check out the source – find out where and when it was produced.  When possible go with local producers.
  • Take the time to learn and experience what the product is supposed to smell and taste like.

Join Our Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar Club

Members of The Olive Tap’s Gourmet Oil and Vinegar Club will enjoy the finest and freshest oils and the most unique, flavorful vinegars we can find – delivered right to your doorstep. Click here to join now!

We Can Help – Visit The Olive Tap 

If you like these articles and want to learn more about olive oil please visit The Olive Tap.  We offer FREE sampling of our olive oils every day.  You’ll be able to experience first hand what the aroma and taste characteristics of an EVOO are supposed to be.  Our staff will work with you to:

  • Taste the products properly
  • Evaluate taste preferences
  • Discuss cooking applications
  • Provide usage and recipe ideas

By the way, we take the following steps to ensure the quality of our products:

  • Each and every EVOO must be approved by The Official Olive Tap Tasting Panel.  Our requirements meet or exceed all international standards!
  • We perform onsite visits of our vendors to observe the production process
  • We send samples of oils out to independent labs for 3rd party analysis and verification

Click here for more information about our current product offerings.


Is The Olive Oil You’re Using Real or Fake?

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